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American Idol Fodder

American Idol: Hollywood Round 2

8-Hollywood-judges.jpgAround this time last year the Hollywood Round was much shorter, and far less dramatic. That's because the producers had decided to forgo the Group Singing round, believing it was a pitfall for too many good singers. Well, it looks like the "Idol" team probably got together sometime during last season's show and realized there was something missing in Hollywood: drama! Here's how I picture that meeting went:

Unnamed producer #1: Did you guys watch the footage from Hollywood Week?
Unnamed producer #2: I sure did. Man, what a yawn-fest. I'd say at least 50 percent of those kids were not crying. That's completely unacceptable!
Unnamed producer #3: Yes, and the squabbling was kept to a minimum. Boooorrrriiinnggg! Plus, not one 'stage parent' butted in. Well, except for that David kid's dad, but that shouldn't be a problem.
UP #1: But what's missing? What could it be? Are there any large egos?
UP #2: Check.
UP #3: Pitchy singers?
UP #2: Check, dawg.
UP #1: Clashing musical styles?
UP #2: Check. I just don't get it. This used to be my favorite part of the show!
UP #1: Eureka, I've got it! We haven't forced individual singers with big egos, bad tempers and different styles to learn the lyrics to "My Girl" in under 12 hours! How could we have been so stupid! Quick, to the Idol Cave! We have work to do for next season!

Well, at least, that's how I pictured it in my head. No matter how they decided to reinstate the Group Singing round, it has definitely become the chopping block for bad singers and anyone bad at teamwork. And as this round has often showed us, bad singers will inevitably drag some good singers down with them every time.

Tonight's action definitely centered on two drama-filled teams: Team Diva and Team Compromise. And both those names should have clued everyone in to the wild ride that was about to unfold. On Team Diva, Bikini Girl Katrina Darrell used everything from high heels to scoliosis as an excuse for why she couldn't practice with the group. On Team Compromise, Nancy Wilson's frustrated demeanor made all the other teams thank their lucky stars she wasn't in their group.

As the night progressed, Katrina gave up on her team, the show, her career and her bikini, deciding to go to bed instead of practice. Meanwhile over at Compromise, Nancy was busy yelling, Nathaniel Marshall was busy crying and Kristin McNamara was busy trying to take a 10-minute break no one would let her take.

Team Diva tried valiantly to rally Katrina the next morning, but she wasn't having any of it. So imagine their surprise when Bikini Girl showed up before their performance, CSI-style makeup case in hand, telling everyone she was back. I'm with Rose Flack- I would've walked away speechless too.
It was not surprising to anyone then (the contestants, the judges, the audience, Ryan Seacrest) when both teams fell on their face. Diva predictably crashed and burned and the only person left standing was Jasmine Murray. She was one of the bright spots from the audition rounds, so it made sense. But that also meant Katrina, Lauren Barnes and Rose Flack all got the boot. I do not feel sorry for Bikini Girl, but I am a little sad about Rose.

The members of Compromise fared slightly better, with Nathaniel and Kristin moving on, and Nancy going home. Though Nancy made quite a scene on her exit: refusing to hold Kristin's hand, shunning a consolation hug from Nathaniel and calling Kristin an expletive on the way out.

Here's some other highlights (and low notes) from the Group Singing Round:

-Team White Chocolate, which included Matt Graud, Kris Allen and Justin Williams (plus another girl whose name I missed), sang an amazingly cool a cappella song with impressive harmonies and a great beat. They even all danced well! All of them made it through to Hollywood Round 3.

-In a montage of badness, the following people were cut: Austin Sisneros, J.B. Ahfua, Shelby Smartwood and Julissa Veloz. Only a few of those names sounded familiar to me, but judging on the 2-second clips we were shown, they just weren't cutting it.

-The Action Squad produced two continuing singers, two singers who are going home and one really cool secret team handshake. Both Alex Wagner-Trugman and Anne Marie Boskovich are safe (which is good because I made a prediction in the audition rounds that Boskovich would make the Top 12!). But Ryan Pinkston and Emily Wynne-Hughes got their walking papers. I once again felt bad; this time for Emily who I thought had some potential. And then I laughed, heartily, when Pinkston said he saw evil in Paula's eyes, and they cut over to a shot of Paula with devil eyes. Best corny graphics ever!

-The team with Danny Gokey and his best friend Jamar Rogers on it rocked the house. It doesn't matter what they're called, they were all awesome! They had the best harmonies out of any group we heard tonight. I'm now making the prediction that Danny will make it to the Top 12! Is anyone writing this down?

-Another great team (of which I also didn't catch the name) produced four more potential Idols: Jeremy Michael Sarver, Adam Lambert, Matt Breitcke and Jesse Langseth.

-Oh, and the slightly unbalanced Tatiana Del Toro also made it through. And judging by her enthusiastic (and slightly off-putting) acceptance speech for making it through another round (which means almost nothing), this girl will be bringing the drama in Round 3 or beyond!

With 30 people cut, that left only 75 people standing when the dust at the Kodak Theatre settled. But it looks like there's even more fun to be had in Hollywood! Check back next week for Round 3 when the new crop of singers perform for the judges, play some instruments and then face the dreaded Rooms of Fate! In the meantime, comment below on who you're hoping makes it to the Top 36 (and who you wish hadn't been cut tonight). --Chris Sardelli

Posted by Chris on February 4, 2009 11:14 PM
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American Idol is no longer a singing show, it appears to be a soap opera. Stop before you loose your music lovers. We could careless about the dump drama of the "want a be stars". We looked forward to seeing all the groups sing, if only for 15 seconds. We say how many, 10 maybe. Way to much on the tears and fears. The producers are destroying the show. Just show the talent! Or is there no talent to show?

-- 1. Posted by: Debbie at February 5, 2009 1:48 AM

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